Updated Information – Federal COVID-19 Programs


When COVID-19 hit, AF Accounting did a 10-part series on the available relief programs. With the pandemic continuing on and with changes to the programs recently announced, we’ve decided to provide an overview of the program’s updates.

Some programs have ended or closed

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) has ended and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has closed. For the CERB, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is now accepting and processing retroactive applications only for period 7, which is August 30 – September 26, 2020.

CEWS changed and remains open

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is accepting claims for period 7. Changes to CEWS were announced in July to include eligible employers that could demonstrate any drop in revenue from the July 5 claims period onwards.

CRCB is open

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) provides support for Canadians unable to work due to caring for children aged 12 or under, or older family members that require a higher level of care. To qualify, you must not be able to work for the reasons listed and your regular care facility must be closed or unavailable due to COVID-19. Alternately, if the care facility is open, you may still qualify if the person in care is sick, isolating, or at high risk should they contract COVID-19. Unlike the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), taxes are withheld from the CRCB.

CRSB is open

Also withholding tax upfront is the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB). This program is open and provides income support to employed/self-employed Canadians that cannot work due to having to isolate, being high risk if contacting COVID-19, or actively sick due to COVID-19.

CRB is open

The Canada Recovery Benefit is also for employed/self-employed Canadians. This program is for those affected by COVID-19 but not able to receive Employment Insurance. Applicants have a total of 13 periods, or 26 weeks, of coverage if eligible.

Read the fine print

All of the benefit programs have eligibility criteria, along with maximum payout periods and time frames during which you can apply. Tax is withheld from some, and not from others – in cases where tax is not withheld and the benefit is considered income, you are required to pay taxes on it. If you receive support from one program you may not be eligible for another.

AF Accounting is here to help

We understand that the changes, fine print, impact on taxes, and long wait times when calling CRA can make accessing the benefits you need very difficult. AF Accounting is here for you during these trying times. Contact us to discuss the programs available. We are happy to answer questions for individuals and businesses. We can also help with tax strategies to ballpark and plan for what you may owe during the 2021 tax season and provide virtual CFO services to businesses in need of extra accounting help as they navigate being an employer during the pandemic. Contact us today for assistance.

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